Lemon Roast Chicken is a classic oven roasted chicken recipe that results in a fresh, juicy, and tender chicken dinner option that is both easy and delicious!

Oven roasted chicken gives you a very different from poaching it or even pan frying it. When I make this recipe, my whole family swears that it is the best roast chicken they have ever had!

I love serving this easy lemon Roast Chicken with a side of roasted root vegetables; they go perfectly together!

This roast chicken recipe can also easily be adapted to be made on a rotisserie! Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Lemon Roast Chicken on a plate with lemon slices and onion

How to Roast A Chicken

Making a whole roasted chicken seems like a daunting task for many home cooks, but you will be amazed at how easy it actually is!

When you are preparing a roast chicken, begin by rinsing your chicken and dabbing it dry. You want your chicken skin to be as dry as possible so it gets crispy while it roasts (and the seasoning will stick better)!

I create the lemon butter recipe and then lift the skin of the breasts gently and place some of it under the skin. The remaining mixture is rubbed all over the outside. Sprinkle some celery salt or lemon seasoning as well! Marinate for about 30 minutes or so (not longer as the acidity from the lemon juice can dry your chicken out).

Place the chicken in a shallow pan or roasting pan and remember, as soon as it hits the oven, turn the oven down to 375°F. The reason we do this is to allow the oven to cook the chicken at a higher temperature for just a short amount of time. This helps to seal in the juices and crisp up the skin right away! Lemon Roast Chicken on a plate with zucchini and potatoes

How Long to Roast A Chicken

When you roast a chicken, cooking times are imperative. Depending on the size of your chicken, cooking times can vary so I highly recommend using a thermometer!

A fully cooked chicken will have an internal temperature of 165°F when a meat thermometer is inserted into the inner thigh (this takes the longest to be fully cooked).

If you have a larger chicken, trussing it before you roast it will ensure that it cooks as evenly as possible! To truss a chicken, tie the legs together and the wings back with some cooking twine!

Lemon Roast Chicken on a plate

I sometimes broil for a few minutes once it’s ready to crisp up the skin a little bit if needed.

Just like when you make Pork Tenderloin, you’ll want to ensure you allow the chicken to rest before carving (I leave it for about least 15 minutes) to keep it juicy!

Lemon Roast Chicken on a plate with lemon slices and onion
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Lemon Roasted Chicken

This is one of our favorite ways to make chicken! Not only is it easy, but it is juicy, tender and filled with flavor!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 4 servings
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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon butter softened
  • 1 lemon
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1 whole chicken approx 3 lbs


  • Zest the yellow rind of the lemon. Cut the lemon in half and juice half of the lemon into a small bowl. Add the rind, olive oil, softened butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir well (the mixture should be fairly thick).
  • Gently lift the skin from the chicken breasts and place about 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture under the skin. Massage it evenly across the breasts. 
  • Cover the skin of the chicken with the remaining butter mixture. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice the remaining lemon half and place it inside the chicken along with ½ an onion. Tie the legs together. Place the chicken in a shallow pan breast side up and place in oven. 
  • Turn oven down to 375°F and bake for 1 ¼ hours or until the inner thigh reaches 165°F.



This can also be prepared on the rotisserie.
4.99 from 77 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 532 | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 157mg | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 406mg | Vitamin A: 440IU | Vitamin C: 18.1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1.9mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. Oh my Goodness!! This is cooking and my house smells so lemony and garlicky…I can’t wait for it to be done!! Thank you for the recipe!!5 stars